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merce can possibly support. For the citizen, above all other men, has opportunities of arriving at that highest fruit of wealth, to be liberal without the least expense of a man's own fortune.' It is not to be denied but such a practice is liable to hazard; but this therefore adds to the obligation, that among traders, he who obliges is as much concerned to keep the favour a secret as he who receives it. Theunhappy distinctions among us in England are so great, that to celebrate the intercourse of commercial friendship (with which I am daily made acquainted, would be to raise the virtuous man so many enemies of the contrary party. I am obliged to conceal all I know of Tom the Bounteous, who lends at the ordinary interest, to give men of less fortune opportunities of making greater advantages. He conceals under a rough air and distant behaviour, a bleeding compassion and womanish tenderness. This is governed by the most exact circumspection, that there is no industry wanting in the person whom he is to serve, and that he is guilty of no improper expenses. This I knew of Tom; but who dare say it of so known a tory? The same care I was forced to use some time ago in the report of another's virtue, and said fifty instead of a hundred, because the man I pointed at was a whig: (No. 248.) Actions of this kind are popular without being invidious; for every man of ordinary circumstances looks upon a man who has this known benignity in his nature as a person ready to be his friend upon such terms as he ought to expect it; and the wealthy, who may envy such a character, can do no injury to its interests but by the imitation of it, in which the
good citizen will rejoice to be rivalled. I know not how to form to myself a greater idea of human life, than in what is the practice of some wealthy men whom I could name, that make no step to the improvement of their own fortunes, wherein they do not also advance those of other men, who would languish in poverty without that munificence. In a nation where there are so many public funds to be supported, I know not whether he can be called a good subject who does not embark some part of his fortune with the state, to whose vigilance he owes the security of the whole. This certainly is an immediate way of laying an obligation upon many, and extending his benignity the farthest a man can possibly, who is not engaged in commerce.
But he who trades, besides giving the state some part of this sort of credit he gives his banker, may in all the occurrences of his life have his eye upon the removing want from the door of the industrious, and defending the unhappy upright man from bankruptcy. Without this benignity, pride or vengeance will precipitate a man to choose the receipt of half his demands from one whom he has undone, rather than the whole from one to whom he has shown mercy.
This benignity is essential to the character of a fair trader, and any man who designs to enjoy his wealth with honour and self-satisfaction; nay, it would not be hard to maintain, that the practice of supporting good and industrious men, would carry a man further even to his profit, than indulging the propensity of serving and obliging the fortunate. My author argues on this subject, in order to incline men's minds to those who want them most, after this
manner: We must always consider the nature of things, and govern ourselves accordingly. The wealthy man, when he has repaid you, is upon a balance with you; but the person whom you-favoured with a loan, if he be a good man, will think himself in your debt after he has paid you. The wealthy and the conspicuous are not obliged by the benefits you do them; they think they conferred a benefit when they received one. Your good offices are always suspected: and it is with them the same thing to expect their favour as to receive it. But the man below
who knows, in the good you have done him, you respected himself more than his circumstances, does not act like an obliged man only to him from whom he has received a benefit, but also to all who are capable of doing him one. And whatever little offices he can do for you, he is so far from magnifying it, that he will labour to extenuate it in all his actions and expressions. Moreover, the regard to what you do to a great man, at best, is taken notice of no further than by himself or his family; but what you do to a man of an humble fortune (provided always that he is a good and a modest man) raises the affections towards you of all men of that character (of which there are many) in the whole city.'
There isnothing gains a reputation to a preacher so much as his own practice. I am therefore casting about what act of benignity is in the power of a Spectator. Alas! that lies but in a very narrow compass; and I think the most immediately under my patronage are either players, or such whose circumstances bear an affinity with theirs: all therefore I am able to do at this time of this
kind, is to tell the town, that on Friday the 11th of this instant April, there will be performed in York-buildings, a concert of vocal and instrumental music, for the benefit of Mr. Edward Keen, the father of twenty children: and that this day the haughty George Powell hopes all the good-natured part of the town will favour him, whom they applauded in Alexander, Timon, Lear, and Orestes, with their company this night, when he hazards all his heroic glory for their approbation in the humbler condition of honest Jack Falstaff.
No. 347. TUESDAY, APRIL 8.
Quis furor, ó cives! quæ tanta licentia ferri!
I do not question but my country readers have been very much surprised at the several accounts they have met with in our public papers of that species of men among us, lately known by the name of Mohocks. I find the opinions of the learned, as to their origin and designs, are altogether various, insomuch that very many begin to doubt whether indeed there were ever any such society of men. The terror which spread itself over the whole nation some years since on account of the Irish, is still fresh in most people's memories, though it afterwards appeared there
was not the least ground for that general consternation.
The late panic fear was, in the opinion of many deep and penetrating persons, of the same nature. These will have it, that the Mohocks are like those spectres and apparitions which frighten several towns and villages in her majesty's dominions, though they were never seen by any, of the inhabitants. Others are apt to think that these Mohocks are a kind of bull-beggars, first invented by prudent married men, and masters of families, in order to deter their wives and daughters from taking the air at unseasonable hours; and that when they tell them the Mohocks will catch them, it is a caution of the same nature with that of our forefathers, when they bid their children have a care of Raw-head and bloody-bones.
For my own part, I am afraid there was too much reason for that great alarm the whole city has been in upon this occasion: though at the same time I must own, that I am in some doubt whether the following pieces are genuine and authentic; and the more so, because I am not fully satisfied that the name by which the emperor subscribes himself is altogether conformable to the Indian orthography.
I shall only farther inform my readers, that it was some time since I received the following letter and manifesto, though for particular reasons I did not think fit to publish them till now.
TO THE SPECTATOR. ! Finding that our earnest endeavours for the good of mankind have been basely and malicious